Sotheby’s was looking for some action in Latin American art last night. They got plenty of it though maybe not enough after the power of the Contemporary sales earlier in the month, according to Reuters:
Sotheby’s expects about $20.7 million to $28.7 million in Latin American art sales on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We saw $1.5 billion in Impressionist and contemporary art sold in barely two weeks in New York (this month),” said Axel Stein, Latin American art chief at Sotheby’s. “That doesn’t mean necessarily that manna will a rain on us directly, but it almost assures we won’t have just normal or negative sales.”
High hopes for Latin American art auction amid buoyant market (Chicago Tribune)
Kelly Crow reports that Sotheby’s star Cézanne has hardly kept pace with a similar work from late last century:
The subject matter is quintessential Cézanne, which may have worked in its favor with bidders, but “Apples” is also only 15 inches tall—small for anyone seeking wall-power punch. In 1999, Sotheby’s asked the same price, $25 million, for a wider, 23-inch-tall still life by the artist. That painting, “Still Life with Curtain, Pitcher and Bowl of Fruit,” wound up selling for $60.5 million.
Elsewhere in the sale, an American telephone bidder paid $4.4 million for Morisot’s 1876 portrait, “Woman with a Fan.” Three months ago, Morisot became the most-expensive female artist at auction when her 1881 portrait of a brunette in a lavender dress, “After Lunch,” sold for $10.9 million. The Lewyts’ smaller portrait of a blonde in a lacy black dress only expected to sell for $2.5 million to $3.5 million estimate.
Carol Vogel had this observation:
“Trophy-hunting season has started,” said Rory Howard, a private dealer, as he was leaving the sale. “Brand names, that’s what collectors want.”
Judd Tully declares the Impressionist and Modern market alive and well:
London dealerJonathan Green of Richard Green Gallery, “Top paintings make top prices,” said Green, moments after the auction. “There are no cracks in the market. It’s not mad but it’s good and strong. I don’t see a problem.”
“Even mediocre Monets are selling for a lot of money,” opined Nanne Dekking, vice-president of Wildenstein & Company. […]
Honore Daumier’s brilliant cariacature, “Les Avocats-Let Parquet des Avocats,” another work on paper from the early 1860s — offered by the storied John T. Dorrance, Jr. family collection — hit a record $2,629,000 (est. $600-800,000). Miami Marlins’s baseball franchise owner and well-known dealer/collector Jeffrey Loria was the underbidder. He threw up his hands in frustration after a final victorious bid from a telephone competitor, then swiftly exited the salesroom.
Katya Kazakina had this:
One surprise, dealers said, was Marc Chagall’s “Animal Dans les Fleurs” from 1952-59. Estimated at $1 million to $1.5 million, it surged to $4.8 million, a record for a work on paper by the artist at auction.
“That price makes the prices that the Japanese paid for Chagall in the 1980s look cheap,” said private dealer David Nisinson. “I never thought we’d see it again.” […]
Canadian collector Francois Odermatt seemed giddy after his sculpture by Camille Claudel, “La Valse,” sold for $1.9 million. He bought the work in 1989 for $100,000, he said.
“I am opening a museum of contemporary art in Montreal,” he said. “Now I have money to spend next week in contemporary auctions.”
The big story in London’s print and multiple sales is the continuing strength in the Picasso ceramics market. Several sales over the last two years have generated price action which stimulates interest and buying. The Picasso ceramics were 100% sold and the entire multiple sale was more than 98% sold. Of the ceramics, 94% achieved prices above the high estimate. The total was $2.19m.
They were just part of a wider private collection of ceramics and prints auctioned this afternoon, which together achieved £2,075,125 ($3,132,194), double the pre-sale estimate (£972,100-£1,389,600 / $1.47-2.1 million). The star lot of the sale was Picasso’s Vase gros oiseau vert which sold for £104,500 ($157,732), nearly three times above its high estimate. The sale was 98.7% sold by lot and 90.3% sold by value.
Old Master, Modern & Contemporary Prints brought a total of £4,613,000 ($6,962,862), far exceeding the pre-sale low estimate (£3.2-4.65 million / $4.87-7 million). The top lot was Edvard Munch’s Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones, a rare woodcut from 1899, which sold for £986,500 ($1,489,023), a record for the subject by the artist, and almost four times above the low estimate (£250/300,000). The second highest price achieved was for a complete set of 10 screenprints by Andy Warhol of the Endangered Species series: the sum of £386,500 ($583,383) established a record for a complete set of this subject by the artist at auction. Rembrandt led the Old Masters section with Christ Presented to the People and The Three Crosses, each selling for £218,500 ($329,804). 55.2% of works sold achieving prices above the high estimate. The sale was 75.3% sold by lot and 88.6% sold by value.
Sotheby’s Chinese Ceramics sale in New York had some serious action which the press department is very eager to tell you about:
This morning, in a packed salesroom at Sotheby’s a Chinese bowl purchased from a New York state tag sale for no more than $3 sold for $2.23 million. The Rare And Important ‘Ding’ Bowl Northern Song Dynasty measuring just 5 inches in diameter was sought by four bidders in the room and on telephones in the opening session of Sotheby’s Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction in New York. After a prolonged battle, the piece sold to the legendary London dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi for $2,225,000, many multiples of the $200/300,000 estimate.
The ‘Ding’ bowl was bought for a few dollars from a tag sale near the consignor’s home in the summer of 2007. At the time, the purchaser had no idea that they had happened upon a thousand year-old treasure. The bowl was displayed in the living room of the family’s home for several years, until they became curious about the value and contacted experts in the field of Chinese Art.
The bowl is a remarkable and exceptionally beautiful example of Song pottery, celebrated for its thin potting, fine near-white body, and ivory-colored glaze. The only known bowl of the same form, size and almost identical decoration has been in the collection of the British Museum in London for over 60 years having been bequeathed to the museum by the prominent British collector Henry J. Oppenheim in 1947. Song Ceramics are increasingly sought after by Chinese Art connoisseurs and this was just one of a number of strong prices achieved for examples of these works in the sale.
Sotheby’s announces today that its December 5th Old Masters sale in London will feature three works on paper from the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth.
Executed in black chalk, Raphael’s Head of an Apostle, c.1519-20, (estimated at £10–15 million) is a highly important drawing within the artist’s oeuvre: an extremely refined study for one of the key figures in the Transfiguration, one of the greatest of all Renaissance paintings, which now hangs in the Vatican Museum in Rome. When Raphael died, his body was laid out in state in his studio, with the Transfiguration hanging at his head.
The manuscripts to be sold were made for two of the greatest libraries of the 15th century and are flawlessly preserved, with dazzling royal and ducal provenances. The first, the Mystere de la Vengeance (estimated at £4-6 million) was acquired by the 6th Duke of Devonshire at the celebrated Roxburghe sale of 1812, when it sold for £493.10s. – then the highest price ever paid for any illuminated manuscript. The second illuminated manuscript, estimated at £3-5 million, is an account of the fictional and swashbuckling Deeds of Sir Gillion de Trazegnies in the Middle East and was once among the most treasured works in the library of great Renaissance patron of the arts François I, King of France, 1515-47.